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The Ancient History of the Maori, His Mythology and Traditions: Horo-Uta or Taki-Tumu Migration. [Vol. I]

Chapter IX

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Chapter IX.

The darting lightning gleams above,
And Rehua commands where all that sacred is;
But we now sleep where winter rules.
O'er O-tu comes the passing cloud,
And you and I are here below.
The bloom now on thy skin
Glows red, as sacred priests' fern-root.
Bedecked with sea-birds' down,
Thou dost ascend the peak
Of Tonga-riro's snowy steep.
Return from thence: the chill
Will pierce thy frame.
The sea-god Ra-kei's foaming surf
Will bar thy onward path.

Creation of Woman.
Another Reading of Tane. (Nga-I-Tahtu.)

Rangi took to wife Papa-tu-a-nuku, and begat children, of whom Tane was one. When Tane became a man he wished to have offspring, and from this desire came the Wai-mata-tini (water of many faces). This was an open pool. Again he had a desire, from which sprang the Wai-hapua (deep pool). These he improved and beautified. Then he went to Maunga-nui (great mountain), and, still under the influence of desire for offspring, he produced Pipi (oozing out), Toto (blood), Ma-puna (spring or fountain), and Awhi-uta (embrace the inland); but these did not satisfy him. He then attempted to produce offspring from the trees, but failed, and returned to his mother Earth, and wished to produce progeny by her. She said, “How can it be? I produced you.” He then went out to see Mau-ta-rere (floating island) and Puna-weko (site of an old water-spring), where he page 134 found the huruhuru (capilla), the kiko (vulvæ), the ana-hara (labia majora), the puapua (mons veneris), the kiri-tore (labia minora), and brought them back with him to procure offspring. From the huru-huru he could not produce any offspring, nor could he from any of them. Again he went to his mother Earth, and asked her to assist him to procure offspring. She ordered him to return whence he came, and then asked, “How have you acted?” He said, “I tried to produce offspring.” She replied, “Go back and prepare a form like your own in the soil, and place each of your members upon it—each in its own place.” He obeyed her injunction, and made a form of earth, and when he had applied himself as directed, life was infused into it, and it became a woman, whom he called Hine-ha-one (daughter of the breath of soil). He took her to wife, and returned to his mother Earth to tell her of the success he had met with. She said, “Yes; you were produced by me.” He begat by Hine-ha-one a daughter called Hine-ata-uira (daughter of the gentle lightning) or Hine-ti-tama (daughter of the first offspring). Her also he took to wife; by whom he had Kuku-mea (dragging), Tau-whaka-iro (year of maggots), Te-hau-otioti (the finished wind), and Kumea-te-po (pulling the night).

Now, Tane went in search of his elder brother Rehua, and, having arrived at a settlement, he asked, “Are there any men above here?” He was answered by the people of the place, “There are men above here.” He asked, “Can I get in?” They answered, not knowing whom they were addressing, “No, you cannot, as this is the heaven which was divided into compartments by Tane.” He ascended, and pushed aside all impediments, and got into that heaven. Again he asked, “Are there any men above here?” and was answered, “Yes, there are men.” He asked, “Can I get in?” and received for answer, “No, you cannot come here, as this is the heaven which was stitched together by Tane.” But he ascended, and pushed aside all impediments; and thus he went on until he had arrived at the tenth heaven, page 135 which proved to be the heaven of Rehua. Rehua came and wept over him; but he wept in ignorance as to who Tane was. Tane wept, and chanted this incantation:—

Chip the weeds off; sweep them away from the dry and bald earth.
Repeat the incantations and make the sky thin.
Drag the floor-mat of the heaven outside.
What is your name? The heaven folded up.
Oh! that the heavens would drop dew,
That Tane above could be held!
He propped up the heavens, and they stand firm.

When they had ceased to weep over each other, Rehua ordered a fire to be lighted, and a number of empty vessels to be brought and placed before him. Tane wondered at this, and could not divine where anything to fill them could come from. Rehua ordered the vessels to be handed to him, and when this was done Tane saw him unfold the tied-up locks of the hair of his head, and shake them over the empty vessels; and into them dropped the koko (tui birds) which had been eating the lice off Rehua's head. The, vessels were soon filled and taken to the fire and the birds in them cooked, and brought and placed before Tane, who was invited to partake. Tane answered, “I will not eat of them, because I have seen them taken out of the untied locks of the hair of your head; and who shall eat that which has bitten your head?” So the vessels stood before him untouched. Tane asked Rehua, “Can I take these vessels of birds?” Rehua answered, “Yes; and when trees have fruit the birds will fly there and eat the fruit.” Tane asked, “And what shall I do then?” Rehua answered, “When the wind blows the throats of the birds will be dry, and they will seek for water: you can then put snares over the water and catch them.” (d)

Tane now went to Tama-tea-kai-whaka-pua (the fair-faced son who folds up), the home of Nuku-roa (long earth), where he found two females, called Tapu-ao (sacred cloud) and Hine-ki-taha-rangi (daughter of the side of heaven), whose husbands had gone to procure rats for food. One of these women slept page 136 with Tane; the other objected: but they cooked food for him. He would not eat because it was rats. He asked, “Is this the food of your husbands?” “Yes,” they said. Then said Tane, “Keep it for your lords.” Tane then said, “Go to your husbands.” When they found them they informed their lords that they had been with another husband. “I slept with him,” said one of the women; “but my companion was shy, and did not go near to him.” The husband of the shy one said, “Why did you not live with him?” The two husbands said to their wives, “Return, and live with the stranger as your husband, and to-morrow we will come to you.” On the following day the husbands went to where Tane was and made a present of cooked food to him; but he had no desire for it, because it was cooked rats, which had perhaps eaten of human excrement; and, being a person of supreme rank, he was afraid to eat of them: so he said to his hosts, “This food must be given to your supreme lord” (Rehua).

Another Reading of Tane. (Kahu-Ngunu.)

Tane returned to the home of his mother Earth, and asked her, “Where is my wife?” She answered, “There is no wife here for you. She has gone. She said you were to stay above here and foster your offspring, and she would go below to drag your offspring to the Po (darkness) called Tahu-kumea (the dragged one), Tahu-whaka-iro (the maggoty one), Tahu-oti-atu (the one gone for ever), Tahu-kumea-te-po (the one who lengthens out darkness), and Tahu-kumea-te-ao (the one who stretches out the light).” Tane followed after his wife to make her his own again. He came to a house called Pou-tu-te-rangi (the steep of heaven), and asked a question of the figure which was put upon the end of the ridge-pole, over the porch; but it did not answer. He then asked a question of the end of the front gable; neither did it answer. He was now over-come with shame. He then went round to the side wall of the house. Those in the house asked, “Where, O Tane! are you going?” He answered, “I am page 137 following after your sister.” They answered him, “Go back, O Tane! to the world, and nourish your offspring, and let her remain with us in the Po (darkness) to drag your offspring down here.” Darkness and light had their origin at this time—that is, life and death were now for the first time spoken of and known.

Tane still went on in search of his wife, and arrived at the house of Tu-kai-nana-pia (Tu the guardian of the blind eel), and took the covering off the outer walls of the house of Wehi-nui-o-momoa (great dread of the offspring). These were the coverings of that house—namely, the stars Hi-ra-uta (rays inland), Porera-nuku (garment of heaven), Te-kahui-whatu (galaxy of stars), Po-aka (vine of heaven), Taku-rua (winter), Whaka-repu-karehu (use the spade), Rua-ki-motu-motu (house of the firebrands), Tahu-weru-weru (one of clothing), Whero (Wero) (red or pierced), Whero (Wero)-i-te-ninihi (pierce the coward), Whero-(Wero)-i-te-kokoto (pierce the tender ones), Whero-(Wero)-i-te-ao-maori (pierce the earth). This last-named galaxy of stars is of summer.

Tane returned to the home of Rangi, and found him laid out at full length. He had been wounded by Taka-(Tanga)-roa. Rangi had taken Papa, the wife of Taka-roa. This caused them to quarrel arid fight. Each had a barbed spear. Rangi attempted to pierce Taka-roa, but. Taka-roa warded off the thrust, and pierced Rangi through both thighs. Now, Taka-roa was uncle to Rangi.

Rangi, however, kept Papa, and begat Tane-kupapa-eo (Tane the one who crouches), Tane-mimi-whare (Tane who wets in the house), Tane-naka-tou (Tane the sitting one), Tane-wharoro (Tane stretched out), Tane-hupeke (Tane with his legs drawn up), Tane-tuturi (Tane the kneeling one), Tane-te-wai-ora (Tane of the living water), Tane-te-mata-tu (Tane of the erect face), Tane-tutaka-takoto-tou (Tane the uneasy one ever lying down). Then was born Tane-nui-a-rangi (Tane the great one of Rangi); then Paia, who was a female. These two last-named were the only children of this family who could stand erect.

page 138

This is the lament of Papa for Rangi:—

Tane, my husband, now laid prostrate—
Sing the dirge, sing the dirge; we must part.
Sing the dirge, sing the dirge; we must part.
Here we loved, and lived together—
Sing the dirge, sing the dirge; we must part.

Paia requested that Rangi should be taken up and carried above. Tane said it could not be done—there were not sufficient beings to accomplish such a feat. But Paia persisted in her request; so the attempt was made, and failed. Tane called, and said, “Who are above?” and was answered, “Dig the trench, and follow on.” Again Tane called, and said, “Who is below?” and was answered, “Dig the trench, and follow.” Tane then said,—

O Tu! thou of the long face! lift the mountain.
O Tu of the long face! lift the mountain,
And separate it from Tane.

All the hosts above and those below joined and carried Rangi away; and when they had returned Tane looked up at his father and saw that he had no covering. He therefore went to O-kehu, to the plain of Kura-ki-awa-rua, where he found the red clouds, and brought some, and adorned his father Rangi with them. He came down to view him, and saw that they looked dark and black; so he went and swept them off, arid took them back to O-kehu. He now got stars, and placed them on his father. He put the Magellan Clouds in their place, and Pa-nako-te-ao (harbingers of dawn), Nga-pa-tari (lesser Magellan Cloud), and Au-tahi (the star of the year) in their places; and came down and looked at his father, and was delighted with the change in his appearance.

Then Tane remembered his mother Papa had nothing to cover her; so he took of his trees, and put their heads up and their feet down, and set them on her, and stood aside and looked; but he did not like the appearance. He threw the trees down, and put the heads in the earth and the feet up, and then stood aside to look, and was much pleased and satisfied.

page 139

Rangi now sent out Te-aki (thrasher) and Watia (Whatia) (breaker) to collect news. They found so many birds at Papa-te-inaho (flat overflowed) that they stayed to partake of them. Rangi then sent Uru (red) and Kakana (Ngangana) (bright) above, where they found the blossoms of trees and grasses, of which they partook, and did not return to him.

Ocean Made. (Nga-I-Tahu.)

Tane spread the sea out flat; so did he also with the sky; and then was the origin of water, and it became Te-au-whiwhi (the entangled current), and Te-au-wawae (the separating current), and Te-au-puha (the blurting current), and Te-au-mahora (the expanded current), and Te-au-titi (the piercing current), and Te-au-kokomo (the entering current), and Te-au-huri (the turning current), and Te-au-take (the original current), and Te-au-ka-kawha (ngawha) (the split current), and it died away. Again the current began to go forward, as Te-au-komiro (the entwined current), and Te-au-puha (the spurting current), and Ka(Nga)-pokiki(pokihikihi) (the spluttering current), and Titi-te-au (piercing current), and Tata-te-au (the dashing current), and Maro-te-au (unimpeded current), and Whaka-hotu-te-au-ki-Hawaiki (sobbing current to Hawaiki), and To (drag), and Tapa (the brim), and Nga Rimu (the moss, or seaweed), and Te-taka-pau (the sanctity departed), and Hine-i-ahua (the daughter formed), and Hine-i-te-raka (ranga)-tai (daughter of the seashore company), and Te-kare-nuku (the beloved of earth), and Te-kare-raki (the beloved of heaven), and Hotu-a-tea (sob of day-dawn), and Te-wiwini (the trembling), and Te-wana (the bud), and Te-pa (the obstruction), and Te-kare-tua-tahi (the first ripple), and Te-kare-tua-rua (second ripple), and Te-kare-tua-toru (third ripple), and Te-kare-tua-wha (fourth ripple), and Te-kare-tua-rima (fifth ripple), and Te-kare-tua-ono (sixth ripple), and Te-kare-tua-whitu (seventh ripple), and Te-kare-tua-waru (eighth ripple), and Te-kare-tua-iwa (ninth ripple), and Te-kare-tua-kahuru (ngahuru) (tenth ripple), and Te-tarawa tua-tahi (suspended first), and Te-tarawa-tua-rua (suspended page 140 second), and Tarawa-tua-toru (suspended third), and Tarawa-tua-wha (suspended fourth), and Tarawa-tua-rima (suspended fifth), and Tarawa-tua-ono (suspended sixth), and Tarawa-tua-whitu (suspended seventh), and Tarawa-tua-waru (suspended eighth), and Tarawa-tua-iwa (suspended ninth), and Tarawa-tua-kahuru (ngahuru) (suspended tenth), and Hiwi (hilltop), and Amo (carry on a litter), and Riaki (lift up), and Hapai (carry in the hand), and Tiketike (very lofty), and Te Rairahi (Rahirahi) (thin), and Kapuka (Kapunga) (palm of the hand), and Te-wha-tika (stand up), and Te-horoka (horonga) (the swiftness), and Te-whaka-huka (becoming frothy), and Whati-tata (breaking close to), and Puke-maho-ata (vessel floating at dawn of day), and Te Rimu (moss or seaweed), and Mai-ra-uta (coming overland), and Takapau (sanctity departed), and Te-whatu-moana (eye of the ocean), and Tira (company of people), and Moana-nui (great sea).

Tane and Ao-nui produced and collected the Pai-ao (clouds).

Tane-nui-a-raki was of the first-begotten or senior family of Raki and Watu (Whatu)-papa. He was younger brother of Rehua.

Tane ordered the women of Nuku-roa and Tama-tea to cut some flax-leaves—harareka (harakeke)—with which he made nooses. The wind blew, and the birds alighted to obtain water. Tane put the nooses over the water, and the birds were caught. The nooses were pulled on shore, birds and all. By the time it had become evening he had caught many birds. Then he returned to the settlement and commanded the women to go and fetch the birds. They did so, and tied them in two lots. Each had as many as she could carry. These they put up in the storehouse (whata), and used them as food.

Tane closed up the mouths of the winds with his fingers. Te-mai-haro (the skimming one) went to each, and pulled out the stopper with which Tane had closed them up, that the winds might sigh. And now, when the trees make a noise with the wind it is their sigh of decay.

page 141

When Tane and his fellows had placed Raki in the position he now occupied, they used four props to hold him up. The outside props were called Toko-rua-tipua (the prop of the god-pit) and Toko-ka-puka (the prop of jealousy). Those inside were called Toko-maunga (the prop of the mountain) and Toko-tupua (god-prop). While they were in the act of lifting him up, Tane said, “Perhaps he is high enough;” but Raki said, “No; lift me up higher, that the winds may blow on me.” Then Papa called to him, and said, “O Raki! go; but in your absence regrets will follow you.” Raki called from above, and said, “O Papa! stay there; I will send my love down to you.” Tane, to encourage his fellows to lift Raki up with spirit, called out, “Oh! stand up father;” and then the gods who were above came and assisted them to put Raki in his place.

Tane gave orders that the winds should not blow; but he left two winds, which he did not shut up. Te-mai-haro objected, and said, “Why should the winds be closed up? Pull the stoppers out and let the wind sing, that we may live.”

The weapons of war of Tane are a matika (matau) (fishhook), and the matika-paua (pearl-shell hook), and the fishing-line. These are the weapons by which he slays his enemy Tanga-roa. And the weapons of war of Tanga-roa are he tuke (d) (perch on which birds are snared), and bird-spears, and the ti-leaf, which is made into bird-snares.

The reason the moon does not shine on certain nights is because a disease consumes her. This disease is ever devouring her, and causes her to decrease in size until she is nearly all consumed. When she is excessively weak she goes and bathes in the Wai-ora-a-tane (the living water of Tane), which gradually restores her strength until she is as great in power and life as when first created; but again the disease consumes her, and again she bathes in the water.

It is because the sky is as flat as a calm sea that the sun and moon go so correctly on their way.

page 142

Another Reading. (Nga-I-Tahu.)

When the moon dies she goes to the living water of Tane—to the great lake of A-ewa (lake of god set loose from a bond)—to the water which can restore all, even the moon to its path in the sky.

The Living Water of Tane.
(Another Reading—Nga-ti-Hau.)

When man dies, his body does not come to life again: it is sucked into the mouth of Hine-nui-te-po (great daughter of night). Not so is it with the moon: the moon, when it dies, goes to bathe in the great lake of Aiwa, or Aewa (wander), the living water of Tane, which renews life; and so it comes forth, and is seen high in the heavens, with life restored and strength renewed, to travel again its path over the sky.

Tane was of Te-ika-whenua (fish of the land).

Tiki-tohua was of the first-begotten family of Rangi, and was the progenitor of birds.

Tiki-kapakapa was of the second-begotten family of Rangi, and was the progenitor offish, and of the koko (or tui, parson-bird) and the maka (mangaa) (barracouta).

Uru-tahi (one head) and Kakana (Ngangana)-tahi (only red) were twins, and were messengers. Kakana-tahi was sent inland for food; Uru-tahi was sent elsewhere for food. Having found it, they stayed to eat, and did not come back. Kakana-tahi was mother of the maka (mangaa) (barracouta), and Uru-tahi was mother of the koko (tui bird).

Tiki-au-aha was of the fourth-begotten family of Rangi, the progenitor of man.

Io-wahine was also of the fourth-begotten family.

Tiki-whaka-eaea was of another family of Rangi. He begat Huru, who took Pani and begat the kumara.

Tane. (Another Reading—Nga-Ti-Rua-Nui.)

Tane took Mu-mu-whango (gentle noise of the air) to wife, and begat the totara-tree. He took Pu-whaka-hara (great origin), page 143 and begat the kahika (a creeper or vine), and ake-rau-tangi (ake, tree of the weeping leaf). He took Te-ata-tangi-rea (the voice coming down), and begat the maire-rau-nui (maire of the great leaf) tree. He took Parauri (the black one), and begat the tui or koko (parson-bird). He took Papa (flat), and begat the kiwi (as the proverb calls it, “the hidden bird of Tane”). He took Haere-awa-awa (wanderer in the brooks), and begat the weka-bird. He took Tu-wae-rore (the foot caught in a trap), and begat the kahika-tea, rimu, and tane-kaha trees.

Hence these proverbial sayings: as applied to a canoe—” The narrow path used in crossing belongs to Tane;” as applied to houses—“The bold and daring children of Tane, defying the storm;” and these are the bark of the kahikatea and ake-rau-tangi trees, which are made into a house in which Kahu-kura (god of the rainbow) may dwell.

It is said also that when Tane propped the sky up the trees were growing with their roots up in the air and their heads down; but Tane reversed them, and they are now called “the defiant offspring of Tane.”